News Briefs

Boston Youth Poet Laureate Search

The City of Boston is looking for youth interested in civic challenge to Boston’s next Youth Poet Laureate!

Participants must be: 

• 13-18 years old

• Residents of the city of Boston for at least one year prior to nomination

• Passionate about poetry and the written and spoken word

• Willing to participate in readings, workshops, and events throughout the city.

The selected Youth Poet Laureate will serve at least one two-year term under the mentorship of current Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola. They will receive a $2,000 honorarium each year, and will also publish their own collection of poetry. 

The deadline to apply is November 14, 2021 at 5 p.m. Please spread the word to anyone you know that might be interested!  

Fall-O-Ween Children’s Festival Coming to Boston Common October 22

Mayor Kim Janey and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department will host the Fall-o-Ween Children’s Festival on the Boston Common Parade Ground near the corner of Beacon and Charles Streets on Friday, October 22, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Adults and children are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and participate in a wide range of fun and spooky family activities. Test your skills and courage to find your way out of the Haunted Fun House Maze, hop on the train hosted by Cabot Creamery Co-operative, and make your way over to our glow in the dark play space for some nighttime fun featuring LED illuminated swings, seesaws, and cornhole. Join LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston to build a LEGO® pumpkin for our pumpkin patch and learn how to build spooky creatures with Lego Master Model Builder, Sean. Enjoy exciting acts from the Boston Circus Guild with performances by an aerial artist and stilt walker between 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Fall-o-Ween Children’s Festival is presented by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with the Skating Club of Boston. Key sponsors are LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Boston, the Farm Families who own Cabot Creamery Co-operative, HP Hood LLC, Dunkin’, and L.L.Bean. The media sponsor is Magic 106.7. Additional support provided by Perfect Parties and the Boston Circus Guild.

This free family-friendly event will also include glow-in-the-dark games, children’s crafts, scarily delicious snacks and refreshments provided by Cabot Cheese, Dunkin’, and HP Hood LLC. Join Harvard University’s Stress & Development lab for fun games focused on learning about the brain and how we think. A monster mash of activities will include a visit from the Massachusetts Horticulture Society, the Mass Audubon Society, an art activity with the Mayor’s Mural Crew, and other fun fall and Halloween activities.   

To stay up to date with news, events, and improvements in Boston parks, register for our email list at and follow our social channels @bostonparksdept on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Annual Boys & Girls Club Fundraiser at Ninety Nine Restaurants

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub announced today that the annual Boys & Girls Club fundraiser will go  through Sunday, October 31 at all 103 Ninety Nine locations across New England and upstate New York, with 100% of the funds raised going directly to local Boys & Girls Club chapters throughout the communities in which they serve.

 “As we have watched our local Boys & Girls Clubs tirelessly support their communities during this challenging time, our team members and guests are honored and excited to be able to continuously donate to the organization, year after year. We take comfort in knowing that our passion to serve does not go unnoticed as we know that our donation efforts will benefit local Boys & Girls Club members throughout the year, especially during a time when it is needed now more than ever,” said Charlie Noyes, President, Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub.

The Boys & Girls Club fundraiser encourages donations with a new initiative Give $5, Get $5; for every $5 donation made through October 31st, guests will receive a $5 off $25 coupon valid for a future dine in visit or online To Go order to use now through November 21st.

Guests can donate in-person or online in the following ways:

Guests who dine in, will receive a $5 off $25 coupon for every $5 donation *coupon expires November 21st*

Guests who order online at and make a $5 donation or more will immediately receive $5 off the online To Go order through October 31st

This year marks the 24th anniversary of supporting and partnering with local Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the region and beyond. To-date The Ninety Nine, along with guests, team members and business partners have raised over $5 million for local Boys & Girls Club chapters.

BLS Data ON Suffolk County’s Employment Decline

 The New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released data on employment and wages in Massachusetts. The data are derived from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) which obtains data from unemployment insurance (UI) summaries. Some highlights from the attached press release are listed below.

· Employment fell in the nine largest counties in Massachusetts from March 2020 to March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment also fell over the year Nationally and within the State by 4.5 and 6.6 percent, respectively.    

· Across the nation, employment decreased in 324 of the 343 largest counties from March 2020 to March 2021.

· Among the nine largest counties in Massachusetts, employment was highest in Middlesex County (871,300) in March 2021 and accounted for 26.1 percent of total employment within the state. Within Middlesex County’s private industry, professional and technical services accounted for the largest employment. Nationwide, the 343 largest counties made up 72.3 percent of total U.S. employment.

· All nine large Massachusetts counties reported average weekly wage gains from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021. Middlesex County had the largest gain, up 9.3 percent. Average weekly wages increased 5.6 percent nationally. Statewide, average weekly wages increased by 7.8 percent over the year.

· Weekly wages in the 4 of the 9 largest counties in Massachusetts were above the national average of $1,289 in the first quarter of 2021. Average weekly wages in three of these counties ranked among the top 50 nationwide: Suffolk ($2,545, 5th), Middlesex ($2,107, 11th), and Norfolk ($1,462, 47th).

Roberts Named New Executive Director at City Year

City Year Greater Boston, an education nonprofit that recruits young adults for a year of service in public schools, is pleased to announce Monica Roberts has been selected as the organization’s new executive director.

“We are pleased to welcome Monica Roberts as the new Executive Director of City Year Greater Boston,” said Joe Nedder, chief operations officer at Edelman Financial Engines and board chair of City Year Greater Boston. “Monica has been a champion of education equity and youth development efforts in our community and will bring that passion and commitment to the great work of City Year Greater Boston.”

Roberts brings to her work a passion for serving students and families holistically. For the past six years, she has led family and community engagement at the Boston Public Schools (BPS), most recently as the chief of family and community advancement, where she led partnerships and engagement, and school assignment and constituent services. Roberts is a BPS alumna who has a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University, master’s degrees in political science and business management from Boston College, and holds a superintendent’s license.

“I have devoted my career to advancing opportunities for our community’s students and their families,” offered Roberts. “This is an incredible opportunity to join a talented team of professionals dedicated to advancing equitable outcomes for the young people in my hometown and continue this work that is so very important to me.”

BPS Superintendent, Brenda Cassellius shared, “City Year has a long and established partnership with BPS and I’m excited to have a trusted colleague leading the organization. A BPS graduate and powerful community leader, Monica reminds us of the incredible potential of each of our students, and the work Boston Public Schools does to produce successful citizens of the world.”

This year, City Year Greater Boston AmeriCorps members will serve fulltime in 21 schools in Boston and the nearby city of Everett, reaching more than 12,000 students each day. During their year of service, AmeriCorps members serve as student success coaches—tutors, mentors and role models who help make school a welcoming, joyful place. In a survey last year, 98% of partner principals and administrators said they were very satisfied with the quality of service provided by City Year Greater Boston.

Archdiocese of Boston Raises $442,000 for Haitian Relief

The parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston raised $442,000 through a special collection in late August for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. On August 14th a deadly earthquake struck Haiti causing great loss of life and enormous damage. The special collection supports relief efforts operated by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Church in Haiti.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM said, “We are blessed by the generosity of our parishioners and the deep and prayerful concern for the suffering being experienced by the Haitian people. The funds raised by the special collection will be a great help to meeting the many diverse needs in Haiti.”

The Cardinal added, “Having recently visited Haiti, it is clear the people of Haiti are experiencing devastating poverty and dislocation. This is the result of a number of natural disasters over the past ten years, most recently a massive earthquake on August 14th. Political turmoil, the impact of COVID and ongoing threats posed by gangs have contributed greatly to a lack of stability for the Haitian people. We continue to join in solidarity with the Haitian community in the Archdiocese of Boston praying for their loved ones in Haiti.”

TSA PreCheck Online Renewal Fee Will Decrease to $70

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it has lowered the online renewal fee for TSA PreCheck® from $85 to $70.

“TSA PreCheck was launched 10 years ago to provide expedited airport security screening for low-risk travelers,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Our TSA PreCheck program improves overall security and we will continue to look for ways to enhance the benefits of this program for our trusted travelers.”

This fee change represents a $15 reduction in the cost of renewing online, while still allowing TSA to cover the costs of operating the program, which includes performing a security threat assessment and adjudicating applications. Over 95 percent of renewals occur online, as most travelers find this to be a quick and easy way to maintain membership in the program. The cost for an initial enrollment and in-person renewal will continue to be $85.

TSA PreCheck allows low-risk travelers to enjoy a streamlined screening experience at more than 200 U.S. airports and with 80 participating airlines. For TSA PreCheck travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets. This past month, 96% of passengers in TSA PreCheck lanes waited less than five minutes to go through airport security checkpoints.

Local Post Office will be Closed to Celebrate Columbus Day

 Local Post Offices will be closed on Monday, October 11, in celebration of the federal holiday Columbus Day. There will also be no collection or street delivery of mail on Monday, except for guaranteed overnight service.

What never closes is, where you can order shipping supplies, buy and print postage, track a parcel or apply for job with the Postal Service. We’re hiring now in a community near you.

Full retail and delivery services will resume on Tuesday, October 12.

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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